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Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Is Lee really guilty, or is this news all part of an attempted defamation against him?

I'd read about the allegations Julius Schwartz supposedly committed sexual misconduct, in the late 80s-early 90s, if any time, though it's never been clear if there's any concrete evidence. Now, wouldn't you know it, even Stan Lee's now sadly come to be accused of similar behavior, whether factual or not, as the following UK Mail article (via Breitbart) is saying:
Comic book legend Stan Lee has been hit with several allegations of sexual assault and harassment by nurses caring for him at his Hollywood Hills home, DailyMail.com can reveal.

The Marvel creator, 95, is alleged to have repeatedly groped and harassed a string of young female nurses employed to care for him.

He is said to have asked for oral sex in the shower, walked around naked and wanted to be 'pleasured' in the bedroom.

The nursing company which employs the women and caters for celebrities and high end clients is now in a legal dispute with icon Lee, DailyMail.com has learned.

But as yet no police complaint has been made and no lawsuits filed.

A lawyer representing Lee told DailyMail.com that Lee 'categorically denies' the 'false and despicable' allegations and fully intends to clear his 'stellar good name' and suggested the allegations could be part of a shakedown.
I certainly hope it's just a case of defamation, because this #MeToo movement, started by Alyssa Milano, has already gone too far, with too many allegations that aren't concrete, and even long before, it's not like there weren't similar cases, with Schwartz's quite possibly being one of them, as I'll try to elaborate further down. For now, the paper quotes a "source" who claims Lee got "handsy", and that sounds similar to the allegations made against Schwartz, suggesting the language was borrowed from the ambiguous allegations against the late DC editor.

That said, while it is likely the allegations against Lee are defamatory as well, I figure it'd be best to note that, from a realist's viewpoint, it is possible even for guys of backgrounds like his and Schwartz's to do bad things, and even if it's at an advanced age, that doesn't make it any less distasteful. But so far, the allegations at hand are just that, with no definitive proof Lee actually did anything overtly severe. And a representative of the new caretaking service now working for him said:
Julie Wozniak, a rep for the new firm Vitale Nursing Inc, insists that Lee has been nothing but 'polite, kind and respectful' since they took over.

'It has been a privilege to care for him,' she added.
This does sound plausible. However, Lee's made some pretty poor choices over the years of whom to associate with, such as a leading business manager of his:
Lee's burly minder has been accused of 'intimidating' and 'frightening' some of the nurses involved, further casting a difficult light on Lee's reputation.

The man, Max Anderson, has been Lee's right hand man for years and acts as his road manager at comic book conventions. He is often seen in photo shoots alongside Lee.

Anderson - real name Mac Anderson - has a serious criminal past.

According to court records in Riverside, California he has a 2002 felony conviction for beating and injuring his wife, for which he was jailed for 365 days and spent 36 months probation.

Then in 2010, according to court records, he was found guilty of beating his son with a belt, putting him in a chokehold and slamming him on the floor.

The boy went to school with his arm in a sling which raised the alarm with teachers.

For that crime he was sentenced to 36 months probation, a fine and anger management and parenting classes.
If this is fact, Lee did himself a terrible disfavor that casts a pall over his image, his possible innocence of the charges against himself notwithstanding. Also, as told in this Hollywood Reporter list of history moments, Lee was once chummy with Michael Jackson:
"I don't know how big a comic fan he was, but he was a big Spider-Man fan. Spider-Man was his life. He wanted to be Spider-Man. He wanted to produce Spider-Man. He wanted to direct Spider-Man. That's what he wanted. We had gotten very friendly, and he came over to my house once with his baby to talk about it. He gave the baby to [my wife] Joan to hold. She spent an hour looking after the baby while I was talking to Michael. He was a very sweet guy. I remember once he told me he'd like me to do a little scene with him [in a music video]. He was shooting it in Jersey in an abandoned aircraft airdrome. There were about 300 people there. I came in the back door, and he was onstage. All of a sudden, he said, 'Hold it. Stan, Stan, come on up.' I felt like the most important person in the world! Michael Jackson stopped what he was doing to say, 'Stan, come on up.' I'll never forget that."
As anybody familiar with the trial Jackson went through in the early 2000s knows, he was charged with child molestation. Though he was acquitted (as he also was of the original accusations in 1993), some people are still bound to understandably believe Jackson could've been guilty, and if he was, then friendship with Jackson was a decided mistake. The article also notes Lee once had contacts with film director Oliver Stone, who's also been accused of sexual harassment. Even that doesn't help Lee's own reputation, if he keeps company so obviously with shady people. I'm skeptical the accusations against Lee are literally true, but he does seem to make some poor choices of friends and business partners whom he'd do well to distance himself from if he gets out of this jam okay.

Anyway, since I've raised the subject of Schwartz again, I might as well add that this got me to thinking more about whether or not the allegations against him made any sense. I do know that when I'd first read about them, I was unable to find any wide-ranging information that spoke of the conventions he'd supposedly acted crudely at, and felt prompted to write over 2 years ago why I was unconvinced by at least two people, one whom I have no problem saying again was propagandist Heidi MacDonald, who's been quite the apologist for the bigwigs destroying DC and Marvel, because I'd discovered her apologia extended to atrocities like Identity Crisis, which make light of the very subject in focus here now. I also later added a bit more data to this post about allegations that Schwartz supposedly groped ladies at conventions, but while I'm sure he and Lee are no saints, I'm still finding reason to be uncertain if the men testifying are being 100 percent honest, for at least 2 reasons: one, how come in all this time, there've been no mass numbers of victims stepping up to plate to testify in their own voices? And even if the allegations against Schwartz were true, there's still the question of just where did men like Stephen Bissette, Ty Templeton and Brian Augustyn stand at the time this allegedly happened? What if, contrary to what they said about trying to persuade Schwartz to exercise more caution, they didn't think it was such a big deal at the time, and only now, in the post-Harvey Weinstein era, they've suddenly decided it was bad? What does that say about their own personalities? Let's not forget Eddie Berganza and Scott Allie's own offenses were swept under the rug by more than just DC & Dark Horse. I found out Bissette, much like the artist with the initials "CD", once associated with cartoonist Dave Sim of Cerebus, at the time this supposedly happened, and if Bissette didn't see anything wrong with Sim's shoddy visions, it stands in basic contradiction of his supposed stance on Schwartz. I'm supposed to believe a guy who did favors for such a sleazebag is being sincere to the max?

I looked around Twitter, and only found one accusation against Schwartz by a woman who said he'd kissed her at a convention, but it sounded pretty mild, and for all we know, it could just as well have been consensual. I found another testimony on that same social media platform by another lady who said in contrast that hugs/kisses between them had been consensual, and even on Martin Pasko's Facebook thread, there were some women who said Schwartz had been respectable to them, so whether any allegations against him were true, they only seem to amount to a few, and too little to reach the critical mass some SJW-types on Twitter were making it out to sound like. Indeed, most of the people who made negative comments about Schwartz - and Lee - had very telling signs they were leftist social justice screwballs who weren't being any more altruistic than some of the leading accusers are. Indeed, Bissette and Augustyn's accounts aren't entirely clear, and "big, wet, sloppy kisses" is also kinda vague. Though if he did act inappropriately, it could be argued the loss of his wife and mental breakdowns similar to any Lee's suffered in his elderly age might've led him to lose his moral compass. Schwartz was over 70 by the time it supposedly happened, and while that's still no excuse, it could at least explain how he lost his way. Furthermore, if they really did care, why didn't they try to warn Schwartz they were worried that, if a fangirl felt violated, she could call the cops? Unlike the case with movie actors and directors, the chances a comics creator would be arrested are much higher, as the medium's less influential thanks to the ghetto mentality they've stuck with, and that might've gotten Schwartz to be more cautious if he didn't want to end up in a jail cell. But no sign they ever tried that psychology, so I just don't know what to believe.

And whether or not he was guilty, I want to make clear I'm very angry at MacDonald for distorting and reducing the whole subject to the level of a tabloid, because it made it much harder to make an exact judgement and figure out if any of this made sense. And how come, if I could find those interviews she spoke of on the Internet Archive, she by contrast couldn't? Some "reporter" she is, I'll say. And her coverage of the allegations against Lee also reeks of sensationalism:
Welp, there goes another icon. [...]

The Daily Mail is the National Enquirer of UK tabloids, so a little salt grain should be thrown on all this, but it’s perhaps the saddest story I’ve ever written here on The Beat.
That's all she can say? All this from somebody who's own reporting came off quite a few times as no less tabloid than theirs. Fascinating how she apparently decided straight off the bat she's taking this story at face value, and won't find any way to verify. Say, this reminds me, a few months ago, when the Weinstein scandal first made headlines, she even said:
A confession: I’ve been struggling all week to know what to say about the Harvey Weinstein scandal. I mean, #metoo because #existingwhilefemale. I reistsed saying this, thought, maybe because my own experiences with sexual harassment are, to me anyway, so minor compared to the outrages and horrors that have been revealed in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations. My experiences don’t define me, and I won’t list them here, but the steady parade of the women I idolize, strong women, smart women, sharing that hashtag is hard to process. Thinking back to my own humiliations and violations has been a demoralizing experience. Have I internalized it all too much? Not enough? And somewhere the vague, yet burning knowledge that we have to do better. Somehow.

All I can keep thinking is, what is wrong with men? Why is dominating, marginalizing, degrading and treating women as less that human so central to the idea of masculinity? Why do you do this to us?
Okay, first of all, for somebody who implied Schwartz kissed her several times on unspecified dates (and downplayed Identity Crisis), I'm not sure why she'd say her experiences have been minor. Second, if something's wrong with men, what about women like Diane Nelson, the DC Entertainment chairwoman, Meryl Streep and Hillary Clinton? What about that onetime DC editor named Jann Jones, whose potentially high rank must've made her feel comfy enough to ignore complaints about Berganza? To limit the discussion to just men and not include women who turn their backs on sex offenses only misses the boat entirely. And who says degrading women is central in every way to masculinity? Sounds like a rip on the whole male species now.
Men are so hung up on this “hero” ideal, an ideal the whole superhero industry is founded on, but in the real world, it’s an ideal that only applies to made-up bullshit situations. Men are not trained to protect less powerful people who speak out. Harvey Weinstein was a public feminist but a private pig, and it was so, so easy to get away with.
Good grief, this is beginning to sound like a meltdown into male-bashing. Besides, has it ever occurred to her "feminism" as practiced almost ever since Gloria Steinem, has been otherwise meaningless, intended for propaganda purposes, and wound up hurting women more than helping? Or that men who claim the title are such phonies? Joss Whedon certainly proved as much.
For some men, the #metoo hashtag has been a wake up call to the reality all women live with every day of their lives. But if I’ve been demoralized thinking about my trivial incidents of harassment I can’t imagine the courage and strength its taken women from Lupita Nyong’O to Isa Hackett to McKayla Maroney and dozens and dozens more to revisit their abuse. They are the true heroes. It would be nice if men realized that, too.

So that’s where I’m at. Men, don’t be pigs and, most importantly, don’t let other men be pigs. It’s called simple human dignity, and all women deserve it.
But what about women trying to stop men from being pigs? These last lines are almost hilarious. Just like men aren't inherently evil, women aren't inherently virtuous, and if any of the accusations against Streep and even Oprah Winfrey are true, they turned their backs on Weinstein just as much as the menfolk in Hollywood, or worse, did favors for him. Furthermore, if MacDonald really wanted to get Berganza out of a job he didn't deserve, she would've fearlessly called for a boycott of DC's products until genuine action was taken against the man. Yes, seriously, if that's what it took to get the scum out of there other than an article on Buzzfeed. And it's not just women who live with the hazards of sexual harassment and abuse. Even men have had to deal with it, as the cases of Kevin Spacey, Bryan Singer and even Jann Wenner make clear. After reading about the latter case, I'm glad I stopped reading rags like Rolling Stone a number of years ago. The last straw was when they put one of the Boston jihadists, Dzokhar Tsarnaev, on the cover, causing outrage with their sensationalized coverage.

If MacDonald's only going to concern herself with men - and very selectively, I'll bet, noticing she even complained about "islamophobia" - and not women acting as enablers, then she's only undermined her alleged complaints even more. This is just another reason why I cannot take her allegations against Schwartz at face value, nor some of the other people's, and recalling the idiocy with the milkshakes, I have to suspect the medium spokespeople's fascination with creating drama in hopes this'll sell comics for them must've also had what to do with some, if not all, of the ambiguous allegations against Schwartz over a decade ago. The #MeToo-niks have existed long before the Weinstein scandal, and if their intentions aren't altruistic, that's exactly why the problem of sex abuse in entertainment will never be solved.

So anyway, having thought about this a bit more, while again, I don't think Lee and Schwartz are saints, I've finally concluded there's too little concrete proof against either one to prove they were/are as bad as one was accused of being, and the other now is. I'm decidedly fed up hearing these stories because of how tabloid they've been turned into, with no clear examination of history or whether victims actually exist and are convincing. When it goes down to such a level, it becomes pretty apparent the media brewers are only looking to create drama, not solve a problem or do justice. Veteran French actress Catherine Deneuve just joined a letter denouncing the way #MeToo was handled, and considering the hashtag's creator, Alyssa Milano, is associating with anti-Israelist Linda Sarsour, that's just why the motives behind aren't sincere, if at all. So I think it's best for the leftards to just shut up about Lee/Schwartz, because they're not helping, and did too little to get the really rotten apples like Berganza out of the medium, let alone make a point comicdom has to stop making minimimzing serious subjects.

So, I hope this'll be the last I have to say in regards to this subject, and that Lee can prove his innocence against this particular accusation. That said, I will admit I'm still very sad that, in his old of age, he won't speak out against the bad steps Marvel's taken to tear down much of the hard work he did, and realize Schwartz likely wouldn't either (and to my best of knowledge, didn't when he was still around). If there's anything they have in common, it's that they were both products of the mindsets of their times, one that apologists for the bad steps in the medium today surely embrace.

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Eh, maybe he's innocent, maybe he's guilty, heck, maybe he has dementia, even, meaning he's technically both. The one thing I DO know he's most certainly guilty of was allowing Hillary Clinton to use campaign funds to hold a fundraiser well outside the FEC's allowable limits, though. Besides, he's done a lot of leftist pushing anyways (I think he tried to crusade for creating a gay superhero at one point.).

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